Authorities arrested a 14-year-old Harlem boy Thursday after he accidentally shot a 13-year-old girl in the face inside a Harlem home.
At about 4 p.m., investigators responded to 145 Keener St., near downtown Harlem. The victim, Ellie Kelly, of the 6200 block of Otis Way in Harlem, was found shot once in the face while three other people were inside the one-story brick home, Columbia County sheriff’s Capt. Steve Morris said.
The shooting is being ruled accidental, said Harlem Department of Public Safety Chief David Sward.
Information surrounding the cause of the shooting won’t be released until the investigation is complete, he added.
“We’re still trying to get all of our facts straight, but we do know she wasn’t shot on purpose,” Sward said.
Kelly was airlifted to Georgia Health Sciences Medical Center, where she is being treated, Morris said.
Hospital spokeswoman Jennifer Scott said she was unable to release Kelly's condition citing hospital policy regarding shooting victims.
The boy, whose name is also not being released, was charged with reckless conduct and possession of a firearm by a person under 18. He was transferred to the Regional Youth Detention Center, Morris said.
A .38-caliber handgun was recovered from the home, he said.
Both the sheriff’s office and Harlem’s public safety department will continue to investigate the case.
William Cox, 15, who was standing outside the home as investigators combed through the crime scene, said he didn’t know Kelly very well but noted she was “pretty nice.”
Cox, an eighth-grader at Harlem Middle School, said Kelly was in the seventh grade at the school.
Columbia County school board member Mike Sleeper said both Harlem Middle and North Harlem Elementary schools were placed on lock down Thursday but didn’t want to speculate as to the reason. Sleeper said the school board will release a statement Friday morning.
This is the second time in 14 months that a Harlem girl was shot. In January 2011, Alana May Calahan, 14, was shot inside her Miles Road home. Her 15-year-old friend Lacy Aaron Schmidt was convicted of her murder Feb. 10 and sentenced to life in prison without parole.